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The study of self has been one of the most exciting and important areas of social psychology over the past several decades. This reader presents an elite collection of the most important and influential articles on the topic. The selection was based on a lengthy poll of the entire membership of the International Society for Self and Identity, in which hundreds of articles were rated for possible inclusion and the highest rated ones were chosen for inclusion, along with some of the field's most recent work to balance the coverage.
The volume begins with an original introduction by Roy Baumeister which provides an overview of the study of the self. The readings themselves are then organized into ten thematic sections covering core topics such as self-knowledge, self-esteem, self-regulation, self-presentation, and the self and culture. Each section has an introduction that describes other relevant work, in order to place the selection in its full intellectual context. Sections also include annotated suggestions for further reading to guide further study, and discussion questions.

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Table of Contents

R. Baumeister, The Nature and Structure of the Self: An Overview. Part I: Self-Knowledge. J. Shrauger & T. Schoeneman, Symbolic Interactionist View of Self-Concept: Through the Looking Glass Darkly. S. Taylor & J. Brown, Illusion and Well-Being: A Social Psychological Perspective on Mental Health. Part II: Self-Conceptions. W. James, The Self. H. Turner, The Real Self: From Institution to Impulse. Part III: Motivational Roots. M. Leary, E. Tambor, S. Terdal, & D. Downs, Self-Esteem as an Interpersonal Monitor: The Sociometer Hypothesis. J. Greenberg, S. Solomon, T. Pyszczynski, A. Rosenblatt, J. Burling, D. Lyon, L. Simon, & E. Pinel, Why Do People Need Self-Esteem? Converging Evidence that Self-Esteem Serves an Anxiety-Buffering Function. Part IV: Self and Information Processing. H. Markus, Self-Schemata and Processing Information about the Self. T. Rogers, N. Kuiper, & W. Kirker, Self-Reference and the Encoding of Personal Information. E. T. Higgins, Self-Discrepancy: A Theory Relating Self and Affect. Part V: Self-Presentation. M. Leary, L. Tchividjian, & B. Kraxberger, Self-Presentation Can Be Hazardous to Your Health: Impression Management and Health Risk. D. Tice, Self-Concept Change and Self-Presentation: The Looking Glass Self is also a Magnifying Glass. Part VI: Self-Esteem. J. Campbell, Self-Esteem and Clarity of the Self-Concept. R. Baumeister, L. Smart, & J. Boden, Relation of Threatened Egotism to Violence and Aggression: The Dark Side of High Self-Esteem. Part VII: Self-Regulation. A. Bandura, Self-Efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavior Change. C. Carver & M. Scheier, Control Theory: A Useful Conceptual Framework for Personality-Social, Clinical and Health Psychology. R. Baumeister, E. Bratslavsky, M. Muraven, & D. Tice, Ego Depletion: Is the Active Self a Limited Resource? Part VIII: Self and Culture. H. Markus & S. Kitayama, Culture and the Self: Implications for Cognition, Emotion, and Motivation. Part IX: Motivation and Self-Knowledge. C. Steele, The Psychology of Self-Affirmation: Sustaining the Integrity of the Self. W. Swann, J. Griffin, S. Predmore, & B. Gaines, The Cognitive-Affective Crossfire: When Self-Consistency Confronts Self-Enhancement. C. Sedikides, Assessment, Enhancement, and Verification Determinants of the Self-Evaluation Process. Part X: Strategies. E. Jones, & S. Berglas, Control of the Attributions about the Self Through Self-Handicapping Strategies: The Appeal of Alcohol and the Role of Underachievement. R. Cialdini, R. Borden, A. Thorne, M. Walker, S. Freeman, and L. Sloan, Basking in Reflected Glory: Three (Football) Field Studies. A. Tesser, Toward a Self-Evaluation Maintenance Model of Social Behavior. Appendix: How to Read a Journal Article in Social Psychology.


"This book provides a discerning and through introduction to theory and research on the self in social psychology. The editors have done a wonderful job distilling quite a bit of research into twenty-three touchstone articles that accurately portray the obsessions, insights, and debates among scholars in the field. As such, the volume will serve both students and researchers well as a sourcebook of guiding ideas and themes in the study of the self. David Dunning, Cornell University..""Having taught both undergraduate and graduate courses about the self, I have wrestled many times with choosing readings for my classes. By providing us with this collection of key articles about the self, Dr. Baumeister has performed a great service for those of us who teach about the self and, more importantly, for the students who take our courses. Mark Leary, Wake Forest University ."

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